Nyepi or Silence Day is one of the most important holiday for Hindus people in Indonesia especially Bali, and it is also becoming a general public holiday in Bali. Nyepi Day in 2017 will be celebrating on 28th March 2017 (this is known as a Balinese New Year) where all of the outdoor activities are not allowed to do. It feels like truly nothing like Bali anywhere else on the planet.
You can imagine a day without outdoor activities in Bali, the roads will be closed, nobody steps outside their homes, no one can check in or out of their hotels even the airport will be closed due to Nyepi day. But you do not need to be scared traveling during this period as you will feel the quietest day of the year in this day and also Nyepi day is a special day that cannot be missed for travelers.
The purification before Nyepi day is done by Balinese normally on 25th - 26th March 2017 (depends on villagers). In this day, the villagers will carry long-poled umbrellas, and sacred temple objects to a source of holy spring water or the sea. Women will carry offerings made from cake, fruits, and flower while for men will carry sacred objects or statues. Then the sacred objects will be purifying in the sea with the purpose of purification of Bhuana Alit (earth) and Bhuana Agung (the universe) from all of bad deeds and thoughts.
In the evening before Nyepi Day, Ogoh-Ogoh or Bali giant monsters will be paraded in the streets. This activity is done by boys or men as they have strong energy to carry a big statue that is heavy enough, and they also use bamboo grid waving them around. This parade will be accompanied by Balinese gamelan that makes more interesting to watch.
In this day, Balinese will follow a ritual on Nyepi Day called Catur Brata Penyepian, it is about 4 prohibitions to Balinese. They are Amati Lelangon (no pleasure), Amati Lelungan (no traffic), Amati Geni (no fire), and Amati Karya (no work). It’s time to do self-reflection for Balinese. It starts by 06:00 a.m. until 06:00 a.m. on next day (24 hours). No activities to do in this day, no motorcycle or vehicles are allowed in the street except police patrols. But for guests who stay in Hotel, usually they can adjust their activities to respect the Balinese New Year Celebration.
The day after Nyepi Day refers to "Ngembak Geni", starts from 06:00 a.m. daily routine goes back, temple ceremonies and celebrations will be found everywhere. The most unique tradition of Bali that cannot be missed is "Omed-Omedan" or Kiss Bulk (followed by youth and unmarried youth). This unique activity only can be found in sourthern part of Denpasar, Sesetan where youths take to the street as water is splashed and sprayed by villagers, and the highlight being two throngs of boys and girls, in a tug of war like scene. Then, pairs in the middle are pushed to a smooch with each shove and push.